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Yesterday, the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) released its annual peer performance measure reports, and the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Metra continue to perform well in relation to comparable U.S. systems, RTA officials said in a press release.
The reports, which cover 2016 performance, show that the agencies rank high in service coverage, efficiency and effectiveness, they added.
The transit agencies ranked in the top half of their peer groups for 14 of the 16 measures reviewed and in the top three for seven of those measures. The region’s peer group comprises transit agencies in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
“What we see with the regional peer review is that the Chicago region had a strong performance overall which is a testament to the hard work of the three Transit Agencies, who continue to excel in service to our riders,” said RTA Executive Director Leanne Redden. “But the same report also shows many of our peers outspending us in terms of capital investment, which is a major concern when one looks at our state-of-good repair needs.”
The Regional Peer Review evaluates how the region’s transit system, as a whole, performs among the top 10 largest metropolitan regions in the United States. The Sub-Regional Peer Review examines how each of the agencies’ modes of transportation performs against five similar peer agencies. Both reports use data submitted to the Federal Transit Administration to ensure consistency and comparability.
Both reports use four categories for evaluating performance:
• Coverage: how much service is provided to customers and the amount of service actually used;
• Efficiency and effectiveness: level of resources spent on delivering service;
• Service maintenance and capital investment: allocation of capital funds to replace and maintain infrastructure components; and
• Solvency: financial condition and the ability to meet operational and capital needs.
Compared with its peer regions, Chicago placed in the top half for each measure of coverage, RTA said. The Chicago region ranked second for annual ridership for the first time since regional reporting began, overtaking Los Angeles.
Chicago retained its top-ranked position for operating cost per passenger mile for the sixth consecutive year.
CTA rail was top-ranked for two service efficiency and effectiveness measures: operating cost per vehicle revenue hour (for the eighth consecutive year) and operating cost per passenger mile (for the sixth consecutive year), RTA said. CTA rail also maintained the top rank for average fleet age and for miles between major mechanical failures.
Meanwhile, Metra retained its second-place ranking for operating cost per passenger trip for the sixth consecutive year, RTA said. Metra moved up one rank position for two other measures of efficiency and effectiveness: operating cost per vehicle revenue hour and operating cost per passenger mile, for which Metra achieved the top ranking. With an average fleet age of 24 years, Metra’s revenue vehicles are four years older than the peer average and rank fifth place compared to peers.